You want to know one of my favorite things about Ayurveda? There's no limitations. What do I mean by that? Well, there's nothing that is TRULY bad and nothing that is TRULY good. If anyone from the Ayurveda world tells you this, run quick--because they're not practicing ayurveda.
As practitioners, we inherently believe, by the classical Ayurvedic texts that everything is medicine and everything is poison.
This is the part of Ayurveda I fell in love with. The part where Ayurveda is a personalized and individualized healing science. Now, this is not what the point of this blog is. I wanted to backdrop what I really want to talk about (which is milk--if you can gather from the title). It's important to understand that in Ayurveda there are no limitations in the foods and various things we taken into our body. The limitations are based on what is digestable in our body. What do I mean by this? Well, based on our baseline health and constitutions, things will be good or bad depending on where we are in terms of our doshas and our agni. So, let's talk about milk.
Let's first preface this by a few known parts about milk that I am NOT a fan of. And really, to even preface that--let me start off by saying that I was never a milk fan growing up. I never enjoyed drinking it, and in fact had to be forced into it because it's good for you. Now, this is the part about milk where I have to talk about dairy and inflammation. I want to be accurate in the statements I make in my blog, because it's important to me to not make broad/generalized claims. Some people find dairy to be inflammatory to the body. When I was doing the research, nothing is super conclusive. What I can see as as something that may point to inflammation is the quality of milk we take in. This is in the world of--pasteurized, non-organic, super homogenized, etc. etc.etc. Western notions of what is good and bad strikes again.
When I talk about milk--let it be known that I am referring to organic, low pasteurized, non-homogenized (or as close to you can get), grass-fed. If you can get raw milk--even better! We've been told that raw milk is not good for us, but I want to mention that I am not advocating drinking straight up raw milk, but rather warming up the milk as you are using it. What I see affecting my clients more than anything is the quality of milk that is being taken in. Alongside the quality, also the quantity and with what?
In Ayurveda, milk is seen as nectar. But, also think back to when the classical texts were written--at a time when milk was from cows who were taken care of, loved, cherished, and worshipped. This plays an equal important role as it impacts the quality. Milk is seen as the direct product of selfless and unconditional love, making it a huge mode of healing in the individual. Milk is also very grounding, making it great for those who may have a vata imbalance. Milk is sweet, which also makes it a nice building tonic and rejuvenative in nature. From an Ayurvedic perspective, milk is also really great to support our nervous system (not just bones and muscles, which it also shares with the Western view). One reason for this is it contains trytophan which is connected to serotonin, mood, and sleep. All in all, milk can be a very therapeutic part of our diet.
This of course, doesn't come without the drawbacks. Remember, everything is medicine and everything is poison. Milk can also be very kapha-genic. What does this mean? Well, it can cause phlegm to increase in the body. It can be too building if our digestive capacity isn't all there. Milk is also fatty in nature, which has it's own set of things surrounding that.
So, what's my personal take on milk? I believe there are healthy ways to incorporate milk into our diet without overdoing it. I do also believe that for many folks--milk is a healthy thing. I do finally believe that milk also has AMAZING properties which cannot be replicated. And yes, almond milk is great, but it is NOT a full replacement for actual dairy/cow milk. My goal as a practitioner is to support you through the right and wrong ways to take milk in. Below are a few tips on how to have healthy intake of milk if it's something you're looking to do!
until next time,